Review: Cinderella (2006 film)

Posted: May 19, 2015 in Review, Scary Stuff
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

A while back I said I was going to try and catch some more Korean horror films after seeing one that wasn’t too bad. Well, I just saw another one. And it sucked. So I’m sharing my thoughts on it here, partly because I feel like I should tell people in case they want to see it, and partly because I need to exorcise my thoughts on it or they’ll stew in my head for a while (never a good thing).

Cinderella is only very tenuously connected to the story we all grew up with. This movie follows Hyeon-su, a very pretty teenager who lives with her talented plastic surgeon mother Yoonhee. After one of her friends suffers a gruesome death after getting plastic surgery from Yoonhee, Hyeon-su starts to wonder about things her mother has kept from her. As more of her friends are attacked after getting surgery and as Hyeon-su’s mother starts to lose her mind, Hyeon-su must find the answers, all while being stalked by a blue-eyed ghost with a preoccupation for pretty faces.

While I give that the premise is good and the story told in the movie is very interesting as well, I have a lot of problems with Cinderella. I found myself having a lot of trouble understanding what was going on, the filmmakers didn’t do a very good job of emphasizing the supernatural elements so that you knew they were supernatural, and they didn’t do a good job explaining the mother’s dark secret very well either, making it so that the final twist loses its punch (if you actually find yourself not having to look up the Wikipedia article so you can have the final twist explained to you). Not only that, but the flashbacks are often forced on us so rapidly we have trouble figuring out whether we’re in the past or the present. Add in only a few real scares and that just shows how bad this movie is.

For what it’s worth though, the scares, when they do happen, are spectacular and frightening. And they do chronicle Yoonhee’s deterioration into madness quite well. And like I said, the premise is good, and the story they were telling would’ve been more impactful if they’d done a better job making the movie.

All in all, I’m giving Cinderella a 2.4 out of 5. Not great, but it was a good attempt, and if it had been done right, Cinderella might’ve been a great horror movie with an underlying theme of how some people, especially some South Koreans, are obsessed with beauty and achieving it through plastic surgery. I’d suggest a North American remake, but I have a feeling that that would just be another House at the End of the Street: great potential but poor execution.

My next review will probably be the Poltergeist remake coming out later this week. I’m a fan of the original and I’d like to see what they change in this adaptation (besides the little girl being a brunette and the medium being a forty-something Brit) and how scary it is. Judging by the previews, it should be plenty scary.

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